AC Milan halves full-year losses as TV revenue rises

FILE PHOTO: The AC Milan logo is pictured on a pennant in a soccer store in downtown Milan, Italy April 29, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan halved its losses in the fiscal year ending June 30 as the Serie A Italian football club's improved pitch performance boosted TV revenues and limited pandemic damage, it said on Tuesday.

Controlled by U.S. investment fund Elliott, the seven-time European champions reported a full-year loss of 96.4 million euros, down from a record 194.6 million the previous year.

"Positive sports performance in the domestic league and participation in UEFA Europa League lifted audiovisual rights income by some 75 million euros," the club said in a statement after its annual shareholder meeting.

AC Milan TV rights revenue totalled 63.4 million euro the year before.

The club estimated that COVID-19 reduced 2020-2021 earnings by 55 million euros, including the loss of ticket sales due to closed-door matches to stem contagion.

After playing in the UEFA Europa League during the last season, AC Milan qualified for Champions League for the first time since 2013-2014 as it finished second in Italy's top flight soccer league. The Rossoneri, as the team is nicknamed, are now on the top of Serie A standings after nine matches.

AC Milan withdrew from a project to create a breakaway Super League in April with 11 other major clubs in Europe. The scheme collapsed under massive pressure from fans, politicians and soccer officials.

AC Milan and city rival Inter Milan have resumed talks with local authorities over long-standing plans for a new stadium to replace the nearly century-old San Siro. The proposal, partly delayed by the pandemic, is seen as crucial to compete with top European rivals which own stadiums.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; editing by Valentina Za and Richard Chang)

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